PARIS, France -- Former World No.1 Garbiñe Muguruza moved a step closer to a second Roland Garros title, as the 19th-seeded Spaniard defeated No.9 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, 6-3, 6-3, in a highly anticipated third-round clash in Paris on Friday.

"I feel very good in this tournament," Muguruza said in her post-match press conference. "I have always loved it since I was a little girl. I also love the clay court. I don't know what it is about French Open that gives me always, like, a nice mood and my tennis develops much better."

Muguruza won the first of her two Grand Slam titles here in 2016 and reached the semifinals last year before losing to eventual champion Simona Halep. She is now into the fourth round at Roland Garros for the sixth consecutive season, having improved to 6-0 in third-round matches at Roland Garros with her 88-minute victory over Svitolina.

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Svitolina came into the match with a 5-1 tour-level head-to-head lead over Muguruza (5-3 including qualifying matches), but it was World No.19 Muguruza who had the upper hand throughout most of the latter stages of the match, earning her third Top 10 win of the year in the process.

"I am very pleased about this match," Muguruza stated. "We played many times, and the last times she has beaten me. So I was looking forward for another match, another match against a top player. Very happy about the win."

Muguruza, who fought back from a break down in the second set at 2-3, had 23 winners in the match to Svitolina's 11. The Spaniard picked off 72 percent of Svitolina's second-service points and won ten points out of her thirteen journeys to the net.

"I have an aggressive type of game," Muguruza continued. "At the beginning, we fought, and I managed to hold my serve and to get the first set. I managed to dominate and play cleverly, and that gave results."

Muguruza's challenging draw will continue in the round of 16. The Spaniard will face either last year's Roland Garros runner-up, 7th-seeded Sloane Stephens, or Polona Hercog, who is 8-3 on clay this season and won her third career WTA singles title on clay in Lugano last month.

The players were shaky on serve but stellar on return as the tilt commenced. Muguruza opened up a break lead three straight times to start the match, but each of those times, Svitolina would fight back to reach parity, eventually settling at 3-3 after six games.

Muguruza increased the run of service breaks to seven, after a backhand down the line set up a volley winner to reach double break point, and a dropshot led to a conversion for a 4-3 lead. The Spaniard finally broke the spell in the following game, firing a strong serve to earn the first service hold for either player, and collecting a 5-3 lead.

That single hold was all Muguruza would need to attain the one-set lead, as Svitolina was again unable to protect her delivery in the next game after a clutch of errors. Muguruza finished off the opening stanza on her second of three break points after a Svitolina forehand found the net.

The players were steelier on serve as the second set started, and it turned out to be Svitolina who would take the initial lead when she broke Muguruza with a forehand winner for 3-2. But the Ukrainian’s lead was short-lived, as Muguruza powered through a long game to break back for 3-3, punctuating that game with a volley winner at the end of a grueling rally.

The vaunted Svitolina footspeed extended numerous rallies late in the affair but Muguruza was still able to get on top within most of them, and the former World No.1 clinched a third consecutive break of the Svitolina serve to lead 5-3.

Serving for the win, Muguruza swiftly reached double match point, and though she squandered the first with a double fault, she slammed a winning putaway to seal the second. Thus, Muguruza completed the encounter by winning four straight games, punching a second-week ticket in Paris for the sixth straight year.